December 31, 2012

No longer a Silent strike

I couldn't take it any longer.  I couldn't look around my house.  The mess is getting to me.  I think I was even beginning to drive my father insane with it.  He was in the know and I shared it all with him.  The few ups and many downs.  Today my father came to down to my house and looked around.  Then he told the children, "Your house is a trash pit.  Do you even realize it?"  They looked at him with blank stares.  "Your mother has gone on strike.  She is done cleaning up after you and doing Your chores."
The children, specifically the oldest, were angry.  They told him they didn't know what their chores are.  That they didn't leave any mess.  He told them to look around.  And that they are lucky to have me as a mom, because he would do much more than go on a silent strike.
So how did it come to this point?

December 30, 2012

My Mommy Strike

Today is the morning of the fourth day of my Mommy Strike.  I'm pretty sure nobody but me knows I'm on strike.  Not even my husband, because I have not told him yet.  I'm actually debating as to whether or not to let him in on it.  Since as I look around he has helped create some of the mess.  At this point in my strike I am having a really hard time looking around my house.  It is begging me to clean up.

Here is how the days have been so far.

December 26, 2012

Blessed Yule

We had a wonderful Yule celebration this year.  The kids were slightly disappointed that we celebrated on Saturday instead of Friday.  But my husband and I didn't have the time available to take off from work.  And truly the most important part is that we celebrated the solstice together as a family.

December 20, 2012

I'm not perfect

Recently I've been having a lot of frustrated/angry feelings toward my stepdaughter's mom.  After a very long and very upsetting mental health issue with my stepdaughter (that is still on going), my husband and I agreed to give primary residence back to her mom.  One of the  biggest factors was the doctor's felt Duckling needed to be home schooled.  Both my husband and I work, so that wasn't an option in our house.  Off she went back to live with her mom and be home schooled.
Here's a little history to help with understanding the situation.  Last year, Duckling went to a school that was independent study.  She had an advisor to help keep her on track.  At this school you also need alot of parent involvement, to make sure your child is doing their work. 

Birthday for the 12 year-old boy

A couple weekends ago we had a sleep over birthday party for our 12 year-old son.  And by birthday party I really mean is half a dozen 12 year old boys running around my house shooting each other with Nerf guns and being just generally wild.

Rewind to the beginning of the day.  Which I spent as the crazy mom following my boys around getting them to clean up the last bit of toys and stuff so the house would be clean for the party. 

December 4, 2012

Letter to Santa

Santa does not come to our house.  I decided when I had my first child I didn't want to do Santa, because as a single mom not knowing how much money I would have for gifts.  I didn't want the stress.  My mother was horrified by my decision and decided to do Santa for my daughter and then the rest of my kids after they were born.  Our family does gifts on Yule and the kids get gifts from Santa and Grandma on Christmas.  This has actually worked out really well.  The kids get to have the magic of Santa and I get to be more relaxed.

November 30, 2012

Yule Advent Calendar

When I was a kid I loved opening the little windows on the advent calendar my mom bought for us.  I loved reading the story in side each little window, and knowing how many days were left until the big day!  This is something I've always wanted to share with my own children, but I can never find Yule themed advent calendar.  I've also thought about making my own.  I wanted it to be something I could reuse every year and fun.  Thank you Pinterest, for helping me find exactly what I was looking for.

November 26, 2012

New York trip with my girl

Last week on Saturday my daughter and I went to NYC with her Girl Scout troop.  I found out a couple weeks before the trip that we were riding the bus down with the Girl Scouts, but we were on our own once we got to the city.  Which for us was great!  We spent Friday night finishing our plans. 

The trip down was quite interesting.  I brought my mp3 player with me for something to do on the bus.  I was curious about what all the menus on the mp3 did, that I started playing with them.  At one point I ended up formatting my mp3 player.  I had No idea what that meant, so I showed it to Ladybug.  She said "Oh my god mom!  What have you done?!?" 

October 22, 2012

Thinking about going on Strike

I recently found and read an article about Jessica Stilwell, a mom who went on strike.  While I was reading I began to realize that my own family is suffering from me doing to much for them.
My children have chores that they need to do.  We even rotate the jobs around weekly so they aren't doing the same thing all the time.  They are also supposed to clean up after themselves.  Lately my husband and I have had to nag to get the chores done.  And I'm often cleaning up their messes after them. 
This past week has been incredibly stressful because I've been spending alot of time with my Grandma in the hospital.  I've had very little time to do what I normally do for my family, and NO time to do the extras.  On Friday and Saturday I was sick, so nothing was done.  I spent almost all of Sunday, with my husband, cleaning our house from top to bottom.  This afternoon when I came home from work I could barely see the kitchen table and the dishes were beginning to pile up in the sink.  In fact as I'm sitting here writing this, my oldest is cooking herself something to eat before her field hockey game.  I can almost assure you that when I head out into the kitchen there will be more dishes left about.
I'm beginning to think that a strike might be in order.

~Earthy Mom

October 17, 2012

How do you say goodbye?

My Grandmother had her 96th birthday last month.  She is an amazing woman.  She has survived cancer, a heart attack, and losing the love of her life to cancer.  She has eight grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren, one soon to be two great, great grandchildren, and a great granddog.  My Grandma helped raise me so my parents could work. She took me to school, and sat outside my classroom because I cried and wanted to go home.  She drove me to my after school activities.  She is like my second mom.
My Grandma is a woman I aspire to be.  She's strong, speaks her mind, courageous, stubborn, and not afraid of doing anything. 

September 24, 2012

I've got the Blues

I've been struggling with some serious negativity over the last couple weeks and it's got me really down.  It's also affecting my family.  There is much grumpiness going around.

I've almost always embraced being a mom and everything that goes with it.  Sure there are times when the kids are driving me crazy or I'm feeling stressed from all I need to do for/with them.  But generally I Love being a mom and caring for and doing for my family.

So what's changed?  I just don't know. 

I could say it's our crazy schedule:

September 5, 2012

First Day of School

Last week the kids had their first day back to school.  Two days before were spent prepping for the first day.  I made Rice crispie treats and chocolate chip granola bites.  The chocolate chip granola bites have been a big hit. I'll have have to make some more.  I also think I may have bought out the grocery store of fruits, bread, and other lunch making items.  Three of the four kids regularly bring lunch to school.  My older son seems to like school lunches better than homemade ones, so we don't fight him. 

I started a first day of school breakfast/snack tradition back when the Ladybug started kindergarten.  I make them cinnamon rolls.  I buy the Pillsbury kind and just cook them up in the morning.  I've thought about making my own, but I'm not sure if I would be able to find the time.  Either way the kids love the treat and look forward to it every year.  One year I forgot and they let me know.  I had to buy two rolls this year.  Otherwise my husband and I wouldn't have gotten one, let alone the two we let everyone have.  The extras we heated up a couple days later so the kids could all have one more.
My husband made lunches for all the kids.  A treat for the older kids.  We usually only make Potato's lunch for two reasons.  One he moves in super slow motion and two he's still young.  We hope as he gets older he'll be making his own lunch too.  Sometimes I try and slip a little note in their lunches when they're not looking, for a little surprise.

Lunches were made, bags packed, breakfast was had, everyone was dressed, and made it out the door in time to catch the bus.  I'd say we had a very smooth first morning.  My fears were definitely less.  My husband and I even left the house on time to get to our jobs.  I am fortunate to be home when the kids come home from school.  The girls get home first and both of them had a good day.  Duckling was please to tell me that she knew at least one person in all of her classes.  Ladybug was happy to share that she saw lots of her friends.  Monkey came home as I was leaving to pick up Potato.  We stopped in the driveway and chatted a bit.  He had a good day and was happy to see his friends at school.  He likes his teachers, especially his scout leader who teaches science.  Potato and I talked in the car about his day.  He sits with one of his best friends in class, and his teacher is super nice.

The first day turned out great!  Now I hope the next 179 days of school are just as good.
~Earthy Mom

August 24, 2012

Back to School time fears

With the school year starting next week I thought this would be a good time to talk about my fears and concerns for the coming year. I know I really shouldn't have any fears by now. School should really be old hat for us, but it just never seems to happen that way.

Let's start of with my girls. They are starting freshman year and I've spent a fair amount of time on the phone with the high school. Most of that time has been asking questions to figure out what we need to register Duckling for school.

After not so great 8th grade year out in Wisconsin; we decided to have her move back with us and go to school here. A long story for another time.

August 19, 2012

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

About a week ago I was nominated for two blog awards by Serenity Raven of The Domestic Pagan. Thank you very much for nominating me for these awards! Now I get to spread the love and give these two awards out to others!

August 18, 2012

One Lovely Blog Award

About a week ago I was nominated for two blog awards by Serenity Raven of The Domestic Pagan.  Thank you very much for nominating me for these awards! Now I get to spread the love and give these two awards out to others!

August 1, 2012

M is for The Morrigan

Letterbox carving/stamp of The Morrigan
from the Warrior Women II postal
The Morrigan was the shape-shifting Celtic Goddess of War, Fate, and Death.  Her name is interpreted in various forms..."Great Queen", "Phantom Queen", or "Queen of Demons."  She was said to hover over battlefields in the form of a raven or hooded crow.  She frequently foretold or influenced the outcome of a battle.  The Celts believed that, as they engaged in warfare, the Morrigan flew shrieking overhead in the form of a raven or carrion crow, summoning a host of slain soldiers to a macabre spectral bane.  When the battle had ended, the warriors would leave the field until dawn in order that the Morrigan could claim the trophies of heads, euphemistically known as "The Morrigan's acorn crop".

~Earthy Mom

July 31, 2012

Crafting with my boys ~ Rain sticks

My rain stick.  I colored a white
strip of construction paper to add
to my decorations.

I've recently began pinning on Pinterest and have found lots of great crafts for the kids to do.  The boys and I made rain sticks the other day.  It was a relatively simply craft for us and lots of fun. 

I have been saving paper towel tubes to use for crafts and they came in handy.  I also had lots of strips of construction paper left over from a Girl Scout craft. 
We glued the strips of paper around our paper towel tubes to decorate them.  Then we taped on construction paper that was cut in a circle at the bottom of the tube. 

July 30, 2012

Ahh Summer camps

I managed to have three of my four kids at summer camps for the exact same two weeks.  It was a really nice break for me and I was able to get alot done around the house. 

Cookie as a Bunny
 The first week Ladybug and Cookie did a week long theater summer camp at a local theater.  The camp is call Summer on Stage and is run by Missoula Children's Theatre.  Ladybug has been doing this camp since she was seven years old and it was Cookie's first time. 

July 21, 2012

Fun on the Fourth

We've been very busy and I almost forgot I was working on this post about our fourth of July fun.

Despite the clouds and possible rain, we headed out to the beach like we do every fourth of July.  Unfortunately we didn't make it to the beach in time to enter the sand castle contest.  The kids were a little sad, but they got past it.  I think it helped that I decided to get in the water with them, which I rarely, if ever do. 

July 5, 2012

Crafting with the kids ~ napkin rings & cloud dough

Duckling's napkin ring
We decided we needed to make some new napkin rings for our cloth napkins.  Several of napkin rings we made almost nine months ago have seen better days.  Which makes sense since we used paper towel rolls and yarn.  Because the kids have really been enjoying painting, I decided to go with painting wooden napkin rings. 

July 3, 2012

Crafting with the kids ~ Seashell critters

Ladybug's seashell people and cat
With summer already going I've been planning many craft activities to do with the kids. 
We have started a non-electronic time period during the middle of the day.  This helps me make sure the kids are spending time unplugged and are playing.  But to help with the "I'm bored", I have a craft or outing planned for almost every day of the week.
We just started yesterday, and I'll be sharing all the fun stuff we're doing.

June 16, 2012

Penguins on Parade

This year's cake bake was alot of fun and also a little bit stressful.  My son LOVES penguins.  I think if he could he would marry a penguin.  One of his favorite sites on line is the live Penguin Cam.  He'll sit for an hour and just watch the penguins doing their thing.
So naturally for the cake bake we made a penguin cake.
Top view of our penguin cake

May 9, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

What, just because we're sitting next to each other doesn't mean we like each other

May 2, 2012

Wordless Wednesday


Amazing Angel Avery

Photo of Avery from her blog
Recently I began reading a blog by a beautiful 5 month old baby girl, named Avery.  Up until two days ago she was living her life to the fullest and crossing items off her bucket list. 
Avery has SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy) a genetic disease that is the number one killer of infants & children under the age of 2.  Until I found Avery I had never heard of SMA.  I could go into detail about the disease, but I think Avery does an amazing job telling about it here on her blog.

April 27, 2012

Social Sevices?

Disclaimer - This is a very personal post.  I wouldn't normally share this information because my family's financial status (in my opinion) is really not anyone elses business.  The reason I'm choosing to write this on my Blog is simple.  I realized that telling my friends and family wasn't enough.  What is happening to my family is probably happening to other families and if someone doesn't put it out there it will just continue to happen.  I have chosen to put it out there, everywhere and everyway I can.

Faith ~ Pagan and Scouting

Three of my children are in Scouts; Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Cub Scouts.  Scouting can be very religious focused.  And I've heard that it can be difficult for non Judeo-Christian families.  I have been very fortunate to be with Scouting groups that are open and not overly religious focused.  With the Boy Scouts I assume it is because our Chartered organization isn't a Church, but an amazing group of people who love scouting and started the Thirty Six club.  However being a Pagan Scout does come with it's challenges.

March 2, 2012

Pagan Blog Project ~ D is for Dreams

 Dreams can be very powerful.  They help your subconscious unwind at the end of the day.  They are what you are striving for in your life.  Messages can even be found in your dreams. 

When I was in my late teens, I started doing dream work with my therapist, Pat.  I was having recurring nightmares

February 17, 2012

Pagan Blog Project ~ C is for Coming out of the Broom Closet

I was brought up Catholic.  We went to church every Sunday and I attended CCD classes once a week.  When I was little I couldn't wait till I was old enough to go up for communion with my Mom and Grandma.  When I reached the ripe old age of ten; I started to question the beliefs I was brought up on. Because at ten you have to

January 27, 2012

Pagan Blog Project ~ B is for Binding

I was reading the Project newsletter to figure out what I wanted to write about this week.  And this is what popped out at me.
Binding: Binding magick is a tricky kind of magick to work. We often talk about doing binding to try and stop people from doing something we don’t like, but when we bind someone we never truly bind them to themselves, we always bind them to us in a way as well. What are your thoughts and experiences with binding magick? Have you ever worked a binding and had it go poorly?
So I will be writing about

January 20, 2012

Pagan Blog Project ~ B is for Brigid

Brigid - a stamp I made for a Goddess
letterbox series.
I'm a little late in starting this project, but then that's the story of my life.  Perhaps it was meant for me to start with the letter B, since Brigid is one of my favorite Goddesses. 
I'm not completely sure why I've felt drawn to Brigid, so I thought I'd take this time to get to know her better.  One of the biggest reasons

January 18, 2012

Working towards #1

A few weeks ago I posted about how I'd like to make 2012 a better year.  Here's how I'm working on achieving want #1.

I don't have very much free time.  It's just a fact.  3 kids (full time), homework, kid activities, my jobs, and house work all take up a significant portion of my day.

January 2, 2012

2012 I'm ready for you

Now that it's a New Year I've been thinking about what I'd like to have more and less of in my life.
  1. I want to spend more quality time with my children.  I say this every year, but I just never feel li